England left regretting missed reviews as Sharma and Jadeja escaped | England in India 2024

After a difficult first day in Rajkot, where both Indian centurions could have been removed through smarter use of technology, England may have to rethink their use of the screening system.

Neither was easy, it should be emphasized, and one was discovered too late and may still not have been issued by Rod Tucker, the third umpire. Still, they could prove meaningful as England were put in their place by Rohit Sharma’s 131 and an unbeaten 110 from Ravindra Jadeja and the series ended 1-1.

Jadeja’s score was clearer as India finished on 326 for five with the returning all-rounder on 93 when Tom Hartley took the lead in the final session. An appeal was rejected by on-field umpire Kumar Dharmasena, perhaps because he believed it was a batting issue. However, replays suggested the pad was first, with Hawk-Eye, questioned by Ben Stokes after the defeat in the second Test, returning three reds.

Sharma’s ‘respite’ in the 87th minute caught everyone by surprise as India captain Rehan Ahmed swept and the ball bounced into his helmet, nipping England’s appeal in the bud. It was only when the broadcasters brought a replay three overs later that it was revealed that the ball had hit the right-hander’s forearm and would have subsequently hit the leg stump.

On this occasion, Tucker may have been forced to remain on the field with his colleague because Snicko heard a faint murmur that could have been interpreted as a flicker of a glove. Either way, Paul Collingwood, England’s assistant coach, was philosophical after stumps.

“We don’t have too much structure in general on this team,” Collingwood said when asked if the team has a protocol for deciding when to make a move up.

“We have some very experienced cricketers on the park. (Ben) Foakes is in a key position (as wicketkeeper). The bowler himself can get quite emotional. Usually someone on the right side of the wicket gives an indication of how high a ball is, whether it hits the pad first, etc.

“That pad-bat from Jadeja at the end, not even the umpire noticed it and all 11 players out in the park didn’t notice it either. It can be frustrating, but you have to keep going and try to create more chances.”

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However, a real chance was dashed on the day, difficult as it was, when Joe Root failed to grab a low catch at slip. Hartley had found the edge of Sharma’s bat on the 27th and Collingwood offered the usual explanation that no fielder intended to take a chance and that the only solution was to create more.

While Collingwood had earlier presented Stokes with a new cap for his 100th Test, it was another Durham cricketer who shone for the tourists: Mark Wood took three wickets on his return to the side, bowled with pace and made the late run-out Sarfaraz Khan remains on his side in the hunt.

Collingwood added: “It’s a great moment for (Stokes). I have known Ben since he was a child. I’m sure the 100 Test cap won’t bother him too much, but you could see today when I spoke that he was quite emotional about getting that cap.

“(And) Woody has a huge heart. The pace he shows when the captain throws the ball to him – he will always do what he wants him to do.”

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